Prayut urges regional cooperation boost
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Friday instructed the governors of 32 border provinces and Thai ambassadors to enhance cooperation with five neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia.
Speaking during a joint meeting between Thai ambassadors to Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and 32 provincial governors, Gen Prayut reiterated the need to improve regional cooperation.
He said these countries are Thailand's strategic partners that will help facilitate regional connectivity and spur development.
The meeting aimed to integrate and facilitate work between the Foreign Affairs and Interior ministries on important issues pertaining to border interactions both domestically and internationally.
Also in attendance at the meeting were Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.
The prime minister stressed the need to prioritise seamless development and connectivity between Thailand and these neighbouring countries, especially in transportation and tourism.
He said state agencies under the two ministries should closely work to weed out any difficulties blocking Thailand from achieving connectivity with these countries.
Furthermore, the premier reiterated that every interaction along the border is crucial and has international dimensions because the mutual interests of each country are involved.
He stressed the need to strengthen the economy in order to elevate the livelihoods of people and lift the country out of the middle-income trap.
Gen Prayut also iterated the need to raise public awareness on issues pertaining to violence in the deep-south provinces.
He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has worked closely with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Muslim countries to help the government handle the issue through development work in the three Muslim-dominated provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.
He said the ministry has been disseminating knowledge on human rights to security officers working in the deep South to help them better deal with the issues.